Hunterdon County Commissioners Reorganize, Director Vows To Keep Taxes At 2018 Level

The county plans to create two $1 million funds for grants.

(l-r, front row): Commissioner John Lanza; Deputy Director Susan Soloway; Commissioner Director Jeff Kuhl; Commissioner Shaun Van Doren; Commissioner Zach Rich.
(l-r, back row): Sheriff Fred Brown; County Clerk Mary Melfi; County Surrogate Heidi Rohrbach; County Prosecutor Renée Robeson.

The Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners held their annual reorganization meeting and ceremony earlier this month.

The meeting was held at the historic Hunterdon County Courthouse in Flemington Borough.

Jeff Kuhl, of Raritan Township, was unanimously elected as the director of the Hunterdon County Board of Commissioners. He was sworn in by Congressman Tom Kean.

The meeting also featured the swearing-in of Commissioner Shaun C. Van Doren, of Tewksbury Township, for a third term, which was administered by Hunterdon County Clerk Mary Melfi.

Susan Soloway was appointed deputy director of the commissioners.

The commissioners are composed of Kuhl, a Republican; Soloway, a Republican from Franklin Township; Van Doren, a Republican; John E. Lanza, a Republican from Raritan Township; and Zachary Rich, a Republican from West Amwell Township.

During his speech, Kuhl, who has previously served as a mayor and township committeeman, unveiled proposals aimed at bolstering the county’s infrastructure and recreational facilities without impacting the county tax rate.

Kuhl’s plans include the creation of two $1 million funds dedicated to grants for municipal infrastructure improvements and parks and recreation development.

“I am proposing policy goals in 2024 for what I am calling a new era of partnership to assist and support our local governments, with the goal of building a stronger future for all residents of the county,” he said.

Kuhl intends to work with the commissioner’s budget committee to allocate $1 million for infrastructure grants to assist in various municipal projects, including road works and stormwater management.

He also wants the commissioners to collaborate with the Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee to develop a program for enhancing local parks through grants.

File photo.

The commissioners plan to maintain the county tax rate at the 2018 level and continue their policy of “pay as you go, no debt.”

Kuhl highlighted the commissioner’s commitment to land preservation, noting the historical preservation of over 36,000 acres of farmland in the county and plans for further preservation efforts in 2024.

In his remarks, Kuhl, a sixth generation resident of Raritan Township, expressed his deep connection to Hunterdon County, echoing his father’s sentiment of it being “God’s country.”

Heidi Rohrbach of Clinton Township took her oath of office as the new Hunterdon County surrogate, which mostly handles administrative duties for estates, wills, letters of administration, and letters of guardianship.

She pledged to serve all county residents with the highest level of dedication and service.

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